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Bring Us Your Tired, Your Poor. . .Your Criminals?

Updated on March 8, 2014

The relationship between illegal immigrants and crime is one which has troubling consequences for Americans who are concerned, not only with the brand of terrorism that is exported by foreign agents beyond our shores, but also the domestic terrorism of imported crime. The numbers show a legitimate cause for concern, one that was certainly not an intended part of the open invitation issued by the Statue of Liberty in welcoming people of other nations to America, the Land of Opportunity.

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An opportunity to commit crime was not what inspires the Statue of Liberty to raise her torch in welcome. Historically, immigrants who left their homes came to America to work hard, obey the laws, and become Americans so that their descendants would have better lives, while making positive contributions to the country that had welcomed them. But immigrants who come to the U.S. illegally may be less concerned with the tradition of honorable immigration, and more focused on undermining the nation with their criminal activities.

The Center for Immigration Studies has compiled data from various sources on the connection between illegal immigration and crime in the United States. According to the Department of Homeland Security, immigrants (both legal and illegal immigrants; the numbers are not separated) make up 20 percent of the inmates in the nation’s prisons and jails. The Pew Hispanic Center’s study of people who were sentenced for committing federal crimes in 2007 shows that, while noncitizen Hispanics make up 5.1 percent of the adult population of the United States, their crime footprint is significantly larger. Hispanics commit 75 percent of the immigration violations; 25 percent of drug offenses; 8 percent of white collar crimes; and 6 percent of firearms offenses. The FBI's most wanted list in 2009 showed that 57 percent of the fugitives who were wanted for murder were not born in the United States.

Los Angeles, California is a haven for illegal immigrants and as you can imagine, it's become a haven for crime as it’s committed by people who have entered the country illegally. Approximately 67 percent of the outstanding fugitive felony warrants are for the apprehension of illegal immigrants; 95 percent of the outstanding homicide warrants are for illegal immigrants.

Some Stats from the Impacts of Illegal Immigration: Crime Summary

Nearly 63% of illegal alien sex offenders had been deported on another offense prior to committing the sex crime.
Illegal aliens commit at least 2,158 murders each year – a number that represents three times greater participation than their proportion of the population.
The very brutal MS-13 gang has over 15,000 members and associates in at least 115 different cliques in 33 states.
In Operation Predator, ICE arrested and deported 6,085 illegal alien pedophiles. Some studies suggest each pedophile molests average of 148 children. If so, that could be as many as 900,580 victims.
Illegal aliens commit between 700,000 to 1,289,000 or more crimes per year.
80,000 to 100,000 illegal aliens who have been convicted of serious crimes are walking the streets. Based on studies they will commit an average of 13 serious crimes per perpetrator.
Only 2% of the illegal alien sex offenders in one study had no history of criminal behavior, beyond crossing the border illegally.
There are currently over 400,000 unaccounted for illegal alien criminals with outstanding deportation orders. At least one fourth of these are hard core criminals.
At least 4.5 million pounds of cocaine with a street value of at least $72 billion is smuggled across the southern border every year.

Did you know...

MS-13 Gang Leader Yimmy Penado Pleads Guilty To Human/Sex Trafficking Charges

“This is the 11th gang member convicted with child sex trafficking since 2011,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Prostituting young girls is a growing threat in our area, and we encourage anyone with information of this activity to call law enforcement. That one call could save a girl from sexual slavery.”

MS-13 presence

MS-13 presence – light-red indicates territories with a lighter presence, dark-red indicates territories with a strong presence
MS-13 presence – light-red indicates territories with a lighter presence, dark-red indicates territories with a strong presence | Source

The numbers overall indicate a mounting problem that is not solely California's to deal with: according to testimony before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border, Security and Claims, the number of illegal immigrants incarcerated in US facilities was less than 9,000 in 1980. By 2003, that number had increased to 267,000. A Los Angeles Times story reported on a 2008 Rand Corporation study which revealed that nearly 75 percent of deported illegal immigrants who returned to the United States and ended up in jail were arrested within a year of their release from incarceration on suspicion of committing a crime. During that period, 28 percent were arrested multiple times.

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While it may be easy for people who live in less urban areas to discount this statistic, it’s obvious that illegal immigrants aren’t just living in California.

Even Nashville, Tennessee, the home of the Grand Ole Opry, whose tourists celebrate the heritage of American country music, which might seem to be the geographic opposite of Los Angeles, shares an illegal immigration problem with the California city. For Nashville, the problem stems from traffic fatalities. Hispanics comprise 6.3 percent of Nashville's population but according to the numbers for 2006, Hispanics were to blame for 17 percent of the car wrecks that ended in death. Because illegal immigrants typically don’t have driver’s licenses, their driving skills haven’t been tested, making them a risk to other drivers and passengers. This dilemma is further complicated by the fact that illegal immigrants don’t carry auto insurance, which means that they don’t bear any of the financial burdens of the traffic accidents that they have caused.

The role of immigrants is to do their best to make their new home a better place. But illegal immigrants who come to the United States to commit crimes are not only violating the historic contract of legal immigration, but they’re wearing out their welcome.


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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      I really love this hub. And here are the reasons why:

      1. This is an excellent piece of writing. Honestly, it is amazing.

      2, I loved the way you worded this hub.

      3. Graphics, superb.

      4. This hub was helpful, informative and very interesting.

      5. Voted Up and all of the choices.

      6. I loved your topic of this hub.

      You are certainly a gifted writer. Please keep up the fine work.


      Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, Alabama

    • dragonflyfla profile image

      dragonflyfla 4 years ago from South Florida

      Not a fan of flogging but public disgrace yes. Hollywood should also quit making movies where the bad guy is the hero, especially movies that attract the younger crowd!

    • profile image 4 years ago from upstate, NY

      Its a disgrace that the liberals are allowing our borders to be ransacked for their own political power. As for these MS-13 thugs, I think it might be a good idea to bring back public flogging as a spectator sport. That just might prevent bragging rights for young thugs sent to prison.

    • dragonflyfla profile image

      dragonflyfla 4 years ago from South Florida

      Thanks for dropping by Carol

    • profile image

      Jayfort 4 years ago

      A very well written and interesting Hub. We done! Voted UP and INTERESTING!

      Many years ago, an illegal immigrant tried to carjack my mother's car in Central Arizona. Mom, being a rather tough ol' gal, locked her arm in the steering wheel causing the horn to go off. This attracted a lot of attention in the parking lot and stores. Several men came out and beat the crap out of the carjacker. When the sheriff arrived, the carjacker begged to be arrested and taken away from the "crazy gringos!" When he appeared in court, he begged the judge to be deported!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Those are some pretty scary statistics and people don't have a clue. Thanks for sharing this.